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  • Godsmack
Multiplatinum metallers Godsmack began as an Alice in Chains cover band, spent three albums shedding those shackles, and then opted to effectively become that group, planning an acoustic LP for fall release. The move isn't without precedent: In the landmark case of Joy Division et al. v. Interpol, a Rock and Roll circuit judge ruled that, when a seminal band breaks up, groups from a subsequent generation serve the public interest when they emulate the original band's act.

Sonic similarities and wraparound shades aside, the physically fit Boston boys are a strong contrast to Alice in Chains. Despite singer Sully Enra's juju fixation, Godsmack's blue-collar background fosters a conservative bent. At their last stop in Cleveland, a video introduction featuring fighter jets prompted the crowd to chant "U.S.A.," and the group lent "Alive" to the Army for use in recruiting commercials. (And lest you dismiss them as right-wing co-opt artists, note that the punkfest Warped Tour hosts a Marine Corps recruiting table.)

On the Faceless tour, Godsmack plans to perform the single "Voodoo" unplugged, in addition to other acoustic renditions of songs that normally feature rebar-hard riffs. And there's always more to the band than smackdown swagger: Gruff Erna has one of metal's more realized vocal ranges, and Shannon Larkin's drumming is no less than spectacular, making the Grammy-nominated group the most effort-intensive rock on the radio.

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